This week, quite out of the blue, Caitlin announced that she wants to learn to play the guitar. My old guitar, the one I played in school, has been lurking battered and unloved behind the sofa and since Caitlin discovered it, the instrument has been seldom silent.
I did try to learn to play the guitar in St Cyres, my comprehensive school in Penarth, but the instrument never spoke to me in the way the piano always has. That’s probably because my father teaches piano and was, in his youth, taught by a Polish concert pianist. In later years, my father took up the cello which is an instrument a little too cumbersome for me.
Oddly, guitars seem to have haunted me this week. Lying in the dentist’s chair on Tuesday, the blissful sound of classical guitar drifting in through the open french doors. Readers of this blog will be familiar with my ongoing dental challenges.
The Glenhaven Dental Surgery, where I have been a patient since I was 15, is now located in Taffs Well, just a few miles away from Castell Coch. Whilst the building itself is modern, sleek and tastefully decorated, it shares the road with a number of older semi-detached houses with mature walled gardens, beautiful flowers and statues.
They are the kind of houses whose well-tended gardens hint at artistic and quirky interiors with large open kitchens, handmade works of art and lots of fresh flowers.
The classical music was coming from the practice’s neighbour and so good was the mysterious player, that Colin, my dentist, had switched off the softly playing musical tapes he uses to help nervous patients relax in the chair. I could have stayed there for hours, watching the bright blue sky through the surgery’s ceiling window whilst drifting away on a cloud of my own thoughts to the sound of the music.
Caitlin has sat for a while in the garden and strummed a few tunes. She is waiting for guitar books and a plectrum and we have promised to find her a guitar teacher. As with all hobbies at her age (10), there is no telling whether this will be a spur of the moment thing or a lifelong passion. As parents, all we can do is gently encourage whilst keeping a keen eye on the potential expense!